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Long IslandCrime

Lawyer: Sex abuse suspect a Huntington Manor firefighter, denies charges

A Huntington Station man charged with child sex abuse has an "impeccable record" as a volunteer firefighter and employee in the Town of Huntington, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Suffolk County police arrested Thomas Costas, 50, at his home Monday and charged him with second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, fourth-degree stalking and endangering the welfare of a child, authorities said.

Costas assaulted a girl when she was between the ages of 10 and 13, from September 2007 through June 2010, police said. A woman came forward Saturday and made the allegation against Costas, telling investigators she was the victim, cops said.

In a separate incident involving a girl, 11, from Huntington Station, she "received numerous inappropriate text messages from Thomas Costas between January and July of this year," Suffolk police said in a statement.

Costas’ Central Islip-based attorney Michael J. Brown, said Tuesday night his client is an "upstanding member of the community who has denied these charges and is looking forward to having his day in court."

Brown said his client is a volunteer with the Huntington Manor Fire Department and works for the Town of Huntington’s highway department as an "operator."

Costas is "a man with an impeccable record in the community, having served in the voluntary fire department for the last 24 years, gainfully employed as a town worker for the last six years," Brown said.

At Costas' arraignment Tuesday in First District Court in Central Islip, his case was adjourned until Friday and a judge set bail at a $15,000 bond of $5,000 cash, according to court records. Costas posted bail, Brown said.

The judge also imposed an order of protection against Costas that directed him to stay away from the two alleged victims, Brown said.

Town of Huntington spokeswoman Lauren Lembo said in an email Tuesday that "the matter is under review per the Town Attorney."

Huntington Manor Fire Chief Jon Hoffmann declined to comment, citing the ongoing criminal investigation.

Investigators, who are searching for additional victims, urge anyone with information to contact Second Squad detectives at 631-852-8252.

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